Hall of Fame quarterback Dan Marino is suing the NFL for concussions. Unless he isn’t.
At a time when Marino’s motivation for suing seemed to be unclear at best, Marino reportedly will withdraw from the concussion lawsuit that lists him as one of the new plaintiffs.
“It was never Marino’s intention to initiate litigation in this case, but to ensure that in the event he had adverse health consequences down the road, he would be covered with health benefits. They are working to correct the error,” an unnamed source told the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.
To get that protection, Marino didn’t need to file suit. The proposed settlement will cover him; all he has to do to have the benefits is, frankly, nothing. If he doesn’t file suit and doesn’t opt out from the settlement, he’ll be part of it.
Lawyer Sol Weiss will now face questions about how Marino’s name landed on a lawsuit if that wasn’t his wish. It’s possible Marino signed something that he didn’t realize would result in a suit being filed. Indeed, as he reportedly negotiates with the Dolphins for a front-office job, suing the Dolphins and the rest of the NFL’s teams isn’t the ideal tactic.
It’s also possible, as suggested earlier today, that Weiss hoped to get as many names as possible under his umbrella, so that he’ll get more of the nine-figure award of attorneys’ fees. Possibly sensing that preliminary approval of the nine-month-old settlement is coming, Weiss pumped up his docket by more than a dozed players.
Then there’s the possibility that Weiss is frustrated that the settlement has languished on the desk of Judge Anita Brody, and that in lieu of asking her for a ruling (lawyers who ask judges for rulings risk getting rulings the lawyers don’t like) Weiss brilliantly filed a suit with Marino’s name on it, trusting that it would create enough buzz about the pending settlement to get Judge Brody to finally grant her blessing to it, so that the settlement process finally may proceed.
Regardless, it will apparently proceed without Marino as a named plaintiff. Which means nothing to his ability to secure benefits, if/when he develops a severe cognitive impairment that entitles him to payment.